The History of Mayfair
Built during the mid 17th Century, Mayfair is now one of the most exclusive areas in the West End of London; boasting several major corporate headquarters, a substantial amount of luxurious residential properties, upmarket shops and London’s largest concentration of five star hotels and restaurants. Mayfair is named as such after the annual May Fair, which was held from 1686 to 1764.
The History of Curzon Street
Starting life simply as ‘Mayfair Row’, Curzon Street is now one of Mayfair’s most famous addresses. Famous inhabitants of Curzon Street have included Member of Parliament George Selwyn in 1776, Prince Pierre Soltykoff and Earl Percy, the art collector Edward Solly at no. 7, 1821–44, Benjamin Disraeli until his death in 1881 and Lord Macartney until his death in 1806.
More contemporary residents have included American songwriter Harry Nilsson in apartment 12 at 9 Curzon Street, Cass Elliot of The Mamas and Papas, and Keith Moon of The Who. The Security Service (or MI5 as it is now known) also had offices there during World War II and during the 1970’s at 1-4 Curzon Street.
Curzon Street has also seen a wide range of fictional characters. Lord Henry Wotton from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey lives on Curzon Street, Mrs. Erlynne from Lady Windermere’s Fan lives at 84A Curzon Street, Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband lives on Curzon Street. In the Sherlock Holmes story Shoscombe Old Palace, Dr Watson mentions Curzon Street as the location of the money lender Sam Brewer. Roald Dahl’s character Henry Sugar lives on Curzon Street. William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair also features a very small house in Curzon Street, where characters Rawdon and Rebecca Crawley live. The wealthy Mrs. Packletide from Saki’s Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger has a house on Curzon Street. And finally, Agatha Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train has Ruth and Derek Kettering residing on Curzon Street.